CO2 tax is necessary: Interview with Boris Wasmuth, Managing Director of GameDuell and co-initiator Leaders for Climate Action

Boris Wasmuth, Managing Director, GameDuell

The managing director of GameDuell and member of the media:net supervisory board has won over more than 100 successful digital entrepreneurs* for his passionate initiative Leaders for Climate Action (LCFA). It's not a game. A political confrontation? Perhaps? LCFA demand more climate protection, consistent, fast action, CO2 pricing from politicians and set a good example themselves: within two years the companies want to become climate-neutral. Boris Wasmuth talks about his "Green Team", Office Sustainability and "Green Gaming".

1. Boris, what do the “Leaders for Climate Action” want, who else is involved, and what motivates you?

The topic of climate change is nothing new, yet conditions have changed considerably. Global warming was said to be a minor issue, something that would need addressing in 50 years when it would be critical. Now we know: time is almost up! To avoid major consequences, the carbon budget gives us 8 years to limit global warming to 1.5°C. However, lobbyists have been averting our attention from this (Losing Earth” by Nathaniel Rich).

Over 100 leading digital entrepreneurs in Germany are campaigning for effective climate protection in the “Leaders for Climate Action” initiative. We are calling for effective carbon pricing, including voluntary offsetting, and starting in January of 2020. Economists agree this is the first step required to counter the global climate crisis. The most effective method to reach this goal is to introduce a carbon tax.

We want to set a good standard. In a 3-step process, we will (i) measure our individual carbon footprint, then (ii) reduce, and (iii) compensate for the rest. Companies should follow suit. To expect someone else to solve this crisis is very dangerous. For the sake of our children and the planet, we must take this responsibility seriously. The time to act is now.

2. How climate friendly is GameDuell? What exactly has your company done to address this, and what has changed in recent months?

GameDuell began addressing its environmental responsibilities 10 years ago. This started with the creation of the “Green Team”, a group of team members who meet regularly to find ways to make our office and business more sustainable.

Over the years, the team has managed to implement many ideas that make the office more environmentally friendly. This includes replacing plastic water bottles with a water dispenser, switching to sustainable office supplies, using double-sided and ink-saving printers, purchasing locally sourced and organic food, and traveling by train for business trips. We are more than happy to provide a comprehensive list.

Additionally, we also believe that sharing knowledge with other companies is invaluable. For example, last week we held an “Office Sustainability” meet-up here at GameDuell. This allowed us to exchange ideas, collect inspiration, and generally find new methods to be even “greener”.

3. “Green Gaming” and energy-efficient gamers was recently discussed at Gamescom. Can’t we do more? How can gamers “play” a more active and creative role in the solution to offset carbon emissions?

Firstly, we always check to see what we can do on the corporate side. For example, the server power supply for our data center runs on certified green electricity. While for gamers, companies can provide them with “sustainable software” or source code that will lower the process load on their end.

While these are our major contributions, players can of course play their part by making small adjustments which can also lead to them saving some money at the same time. Norm Bourassa characterized this with the lovely term “Green Gaming” at this year’s Gamescom conference.  He is currently researching energy efficiency and asset performance at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC).  On his website “Greening the Beast”, he provides gamers with a number of scientifically proven methods on how they can reduce their power consumption.

Other than that, we’re currently battling with Wooga to be the first zero emissions games company. :)

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